In a statement quoted in Anime News Network, Oda revealed that he was hesitant at first to grant his blessing for the idea until a few years ago.
“In the last 20 years the conversation about a live-action adaptation has come up many times. I decided to go forward with the adaptation about three years ago,” he said.
He also allayed fans’ fears that the project will become a disaster like how other popular manga and anime series turned out after being adapted by Hollywood to the live-action genre.
“Firstly, ‘I will never betray the fans who have supported me for 20 years.’ This is my condition. There may be many who are uneasy, but please, give me your voices of hope,” he added.
Oda’s statement comes after the 20th anniversary event of One Piece last week, where it was announced that the live-action adaptation will finally push through.
So far, not much detail is known about the project aside from being handled by Hollywood producer Marty Adelstein’s Tomorrow ITV Studios. Adelstein previously produced American series Prison Break and is currently working on the live-action adaptation of ‘90s hit anime series Cowboy Bepop.
Here’s the One Piece live-action Tokyo show, which is probably the closest we could get to a preview of the upcoming project: